Karl Urban plays Johnny Cage in “Mortal Kombat 2,” and honestly, that just might be the best thing that can happen to the character. As he’s demonstrated time and time again in roles like Billy Butcher on “The Boys,” Skurge in “Thor: Ragnarok,” Éomer in “The Lord of the Rings” movies, and Dr. McCoy in the Kelvin timeline “Star Trek” movies, Urban is an expert at portraying comparative everymen who find themselves in the middle of fantastic events. He may be just the perfect guy to bring everyone’s favorite obnoxious movie star Kombatant to life.
In the other corner, however, is the way the 2021 “Mortal Kombat” movie handles its characters’ powers. The film essentially treats the assorted fighters’ special abilities as “Arcana” superpowers that can be awakened with adequate focus and training. This makes pretty much every major character a “chosen one” archetype, which is precisely the thing that should be avoided when it comes to Cage.
Casting “The Boys”-era Urban in the role is a pretty clear sign that the movie fully intends to embrace the character’s snarky side, and the actor’s CV makes it pretty clear that he has what it takes to deliver a Johnny Cage for the ages. Knowing this, even with the whole “Arcana” thing at play, there’s a decent chance that whatever weird powers this Mr. Cage may or may not unlock won’t magically change his underdog status … if only because the first movie already played that card with Cole Young (Lewis Tan).